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SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR Review RSS Feed

SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR

Sharpness 
 9.8
Aberrations 
 9.2
Bokeh 
 9.5
Autofocus 
 7.7
Handling 
 9.4
Value 
 9.2
Reviews Views Date of last review
99 374,682 Thu February 13, 2020
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
99% of reviewers $569.28 9.55
SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR

SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR
supersize
SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR
supersize

Description:
A weather-sealed version of the DFA 100mm f/2.8 macro lens. Maximum magnification is 1:1. The image circle of the lens covers the full 35mm film format as did its predecessor. Cosmetics have changed and build quality has been improved - the lens now has an aluminum barrel. This new lens does not have an aperture ring so it is not suitable for use on the older film cameras which do not allow for setting the aperture from the camera body, such as the LX, MX, ME, ME Super, K1000 etc.

The aperture has rounded blades which should result in a pleasing and smooth rendering of out-of-focus areas (aka bokeh).

Like all weather-sealed lenses, the D FA 100mm Macro has a rubber seal around the lens mount, which can be seen in the photo (colored red). The front element is SP (Super Protect) coated.

SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR
© www.pentaxforums.com, sharable with attribution
Image Format
Full-frame / 35mm film
Lens Mount
Pentax K
Aperture Ring
No
Diaphragm
Automatic, 8 blades (rounded)
Optics
9 elements, 8 groups
Mount Variant
KAF
Check camera compatibility
Max. Aperture
F2.8
Min. Aperture
F32
Focusing
AF (screwdrive)
Quick-shift
Yes
Min. Focus
30 cm
Max. Magnification
1x
Filter Size
49 mm
Internal Focus
No
Field of View (Diag. / Horiz.)

APS-C: 16 ° / 14 °
Full frame: 24 ° / 20 °
Hood
PH-RBE 49mm
Case
S80-120
Lens Cap
O-LC49
Coating
SMC,SP
Weather Sealing
Yes (WR)
Other Features
Diam x Length
65 x 80.5 mm (2.6 x 3.2 in.)
Weight
340 g (12 oz.)
w/ Hood: +38g
Production Years
2009 to present (in production)
Pricing
$496 USD current price
$376 USD at launch
Engraved Name
smc PENTAX-D FA MACRO 1:2.8 100mm WR
Reviews
User reviews
In-depth review

Features:
Screwdrive AutofocusQuick ShiftWeather SealedAutomatic ApertureFull-Frame Support
Purchase: Buy the SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR
In-Depth Review: Read our SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR in-depth review!
Sample Photos: View Sample Photos



Add Review of SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR Buy the SMC Pentax-D FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR
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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 99
New Member

Registered: March, 2014
Location: New York
Posts: 9
Lens Review Date: February 13, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $450.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Size/weight, WR, sharp enough, nice bokeh shapes
Cons: CA, focus is a bit noisy and can be prone to hunting
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-1   

I do like this lens and I think it'll be good for what I wanted it for - which was as a WR, much smaller/lighter-weight travel alternative to my beloved but admittedly big/hefty and not WR Tamron 70-200. But it's not perfect.

As many others have noted, the AF can hunt and it's kind of noisy. Not a deal-breaker for me, but a bit unfortunate.

The real fault of this lens IMO is the CA. The shot of the dog, below, shows how bad it can be. It was shot wide open (f/2.8), in the snow, with a dark brown dog and dark green foliage. So with all that, it was not likely to be free of CA, but it's still really bad. There is a lot of purple around the foliage behind the dog, and the dog herself has all these wacky green spots. Focus is on dog's nose - she was bouncing around a lot, so I don't know that I quite hit my focus.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/hwp5kw1wa1jv8ku/DFA100%20-%20f2.8.jpeg?dl=0

This next shot, taken at f/4, is definitely better but still shows some CA around the needles. Focus was on brown cone.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/6t024ejw0z3s0v1/DFA100%20-%20f4.jpeg?dl=0

Finally, here's one taken at f/8, which is backlit and in the snow but doesn't have a CA problem. Focus was on center of golden ball. I am a little disappointed that the icicles are not sharper, given that it was shot at f/8.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/tbfk5ysstm0aakb/DFA100%20-%20f8.jpeg?dl=0

I like the bokeh shapes, and it's sharp enough for me. I don't shoot much macro so cannot comment on its utility for that.
   
Senior Member

Registered: October, 2017
Location: Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Posts: 141
Lens Review Date: January 22, 2020 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: N/A | Rating: 5 

 
Pros: Small, light, well built. 49 mm filters.
Cons: Terrible, and I mean terrible aberrations. Mediocre rendering outside of macro
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 3    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 7    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: Kp   

Perhaps I've got a lemmon (I doubt, it works fine and is sharp) but this has been my biggest disappointment in Pentaxia galaxy.

Nice rebuild of a tired, decades old design and it shows. TERRIBLE purple fringing wide open or at f4, and even stopped down to f8 you get very obvious fringing. The last lens this bad I used was a 70's Vivitar 70-210 My poor black and white cat becomes purple and white cat. Anything chrome in a product photography gets a purple coat.
Outside of macro distance, the rendering is again very "old" : magenta cast, loss of contrast in sunny days, washed colours. Similar rendering to old nifty fifties you can have for little money.

Sharpness is good as expected from a macro but not outstanding. My Zeiss 35, 50 and Voigtlander 180 are just as sharp or sharper, and in case of the 35 and 180, from wide open.

I couldn't recommend it at any cost, specially for an apsc shooter. Want a Pentax macro? 35 macro ltd has much nicer rendering, and better aberration control.
Want a telephoto? Get the 50-135: much, much better rendering, colours, transitions, contrast and micro contrast, aberration control and is much more versatile.
   
Senior Member

Registered: June, 2018
Posts: 120
Lens Review Date: January 9, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great IQ, a pleasure to use
Cons: No focus limiter or aperture ring.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K3ii   

Crisp images with great colours and smooth bokeh. Manual focus is silky smooth so an aperture ring would be more useful to me than a focus limiter, but the limited would be of use to people who like this as a short telephoto. So small and light I can easily pop it into a bag if I go birding or whatever. It does feel good in the hand, even the lens hood is excellent. Opened a world of macro photography to me, so it is worthy of a high score.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2007
Location: Meridian, Idaho
Posts: 680
Lens Review Date: December 5, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $399.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp, nice bokeh, very good for both macro and non-macro work
Cons: focus hunts a bit
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-1 and K-3   

Why isn't this a Limited? Metal body is great, focus adjustments easy to do manually and very useful for both macro work and as a walk around short telephoto on the K-1



   
Forum Member

Registered: December, 2016
Posts: 70
Lens Review Date: November 30, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $660.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp
Cons: Purple fringing
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K3   

Extremely sharp lens with nice bokeh. There can be purple fringing around highlights especially at wider apertures.
This photo was shot at f11:


   
Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2013
Location: Utrecht
Posts: 29

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 8, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp and contrasty, WR, build quality
Cons: Bit noisy... but for macro I prefer MF anyway
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K1ii and K-01   

Beautiful lens, feels good (aluminum), clever hood, top notch IQ. Only wide open a little bit fringing around highlights. Rounded blades for nice bokeh.

AF can be hunting, so I prefer MF. Compared tot MF macro lenses this one has a bit short focus throw.

I got it as a free bonus with my K1 + 28-105. I am very happy with it. Ideal for DSLR-scanning too.

See also: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/392245-my-...dern-dfas.html

and for scanning: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/107-film-processing-scanning-darkroom/38...aw-camera.html

   
amateur dirt farmer

Registered: December, 2014
Location: probably out in a field somewhere...
Posts: 18,155
Lens Review Date: August 3, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $375.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: clarity, bokeh, color rendition, sharpness
Cons: are there, really, any negatives here?
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-3   

what a lens...

I traded my copy of the FA43 Limited for this lens - it was 'like new', in box with all papers, OEM caps and hood.... and I honestly feel that I got the better part of the deal...

the D FA 100mm f2.8 Macro WR is everything you would expect from a modern, super-corrected macro lens...

it has all the boxes ticked, such as quick-shift, weather-resistant, beautifully built, full 1:1 macro - there are very few items missing from this lens' list of specs and none of the missing bits are detrimental to it...

could it have a DC or SDM motor? yes, at the cost of its svelte exterior...

could it have an aperture ring? yes, but none of the current/modern lenses do and going forward, the idea of an aperture ring is becoming more and more rare...

could it have a focus-limiter? yes, but again, at the cost of that slick exterior barrel...

I would have been happy with all the optics packaged in a plastic, manual focus barrel, at anything nearly twice its size - it's that good...

I shot everywhere this month; the library, the zoo, downtown, in the fields - and not once did this lens let me down... you point it, it delivers...

beautiful bokeh, crisp colors, amazing details - anything you ask of it, it's good at...

downsides? yeah, it's a little long occasionally, causing me to re-compose.. and, yeah, because it's a macro lens, the focus travel is long...but that is the price you pay for that macro capability...

oh, and the shots?

paint by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

at the library by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

green boa by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

dragonfly by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

hay bales by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

shop pup by Pepperberry Farm, on Flickr

and the rest of the album:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/pepperberryfarm/albums/72157709298772337/page1


no mystery about this lens - if you need a macro lens in the 70 - 100mm range, there's no reason to not put one of these in your bag....
   
New Member

Registered: December, 2013
Posts: 5
Lens Review Date: July 25, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $265.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp, compact, color rendition
Cons: long throw and hunting focus
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-3 / Z-1p   

Sample images from Fujifilm Color 200 film with Z-1p

   
New Member

Registered: February, 2010
Location: Cincinnati
Posts: 20
Lens Review Date: May 25, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $449.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Small, Super Build Quality, Joy to Use
Cons: None really
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-5 IIs and K-3   

My wife "borrowed" the lens from me along with my backup K-5 IIs body.
She loves it and never gave it back.
If you want to see what it can do look at her instagram account " malgorzataquinn "

She says there: " Pentax 100mm Macro WR on Pentax K-5 IIs, most of the time "
   
Junior Member

Registered: December, 2018
Location: Telemark
Posts: 43

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 7, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $580.00 | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros: Sharpness, bokeh, handling, versatility
Cons: Autofocus obviously
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 6    Handling: 9    Value: 8    New or Used: New    Camera Used: Pentax K-1   

This is a work of art. Just like the 43 mm limited, this stands out from the bunch of Pentax lenses I own.

The sharpness is extraordinary, the bokeh with the aperture blades are amazing. The small size is great too. It's labelled a macro lens which it is with 1:1 magnicifation and near focusing, but I use it for a lot of other stuff too because of the sharpness and IQ.

The autofocus, espcially with macro is terrible, it's like a Tamron 70-300 priced at $150 quality.
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2016
Location: St George, Utah
Posts: 24

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 4, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp, fast, small
Cons:
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: New    Camera Used: k1 ii   

Great , not just for macros
   
Site Supporter

Registered: June, 2018
Posts: 220

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 27, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: N/A | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, Sold Build, WR, Lightweight
Cons: Autofocus
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 4    Handling: 10    Value: 10    New or Used: New    Camera Used: K-1II   

Extremely well built lens that is compact to carry and adds very little weight to your kit/carry. WR is a wonderful addition for peace of mind. Images are incredibly sharp and the color output is wonderful.

The only drawback is the Autofocus. The lens is very noisy to focus and has a tendency to hunt. Not necessarily an issue for Macro or Portraiture, but definitely something to keep in mind. A focus limiter would be a welcome addition in a 'next iteration'.

   
Community Manager

Registered: March, 2007
Location: Toowoomba, Queensland
Posts: 23,605

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 12, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, compact, clever design, lightweight, weather sealed, smooth bokeh
Cons: no focus limiter, autofocus hunting
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-1 II   

This amazing lens is underrated, despite how well rated it already is.
Sharpest tool in the shed. Amazing image quality.

I compare it to the FA 100/2.8 macro, and the D-FA version is better in every way. I thought the FA would be enough, and to me it was, but I took the plunge for the D-FA and I am impressed by its excellent colour rendition and sharpness even above that of the already excellent FA version.

The 49mm thread of the D-FA is in stark difference to the 58mm thread of the FA, along with its overall shorter and thinner build to the FA. Nevertheless, the build quality is everything you could imagine a top quality lens should be, just like the classic FA Limited lenses (it really should be classified as a D-FA Limited lens).

The clever design is in the way the hood attaches to the main body, yet the extending inner barrel extends within the lens without taking the lens hood with it, giving the impression that with the lens hood on, the lens acts as an internal focusing one. In contrast, the FA does not have a lens hood. Also being weather sealed, you have a versatile macro that is easy on the camera bag and shoulders when carrying it around.

The proof is in the images it produces, which words cannot express. It shines throughout the aperture range, and its bokeh is second to none. The images render magnified macro subject matter in exquisite detail, and as long as you handle the focusing right, it reliably reproduces sharp images with great micro-contrast.

This is by far the lens that impresses me the most, and I would overlook its limitations every time just to have my breath taken away by its spectacular results.
   
New Member

Registered: February, 2018
Posts: 11
Lens Review Date: January 26, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $400.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness, build quality
Cons: Autofocus
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Autofocus: 4    Handling: 9    Value: 9    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K3ii   

Sharp and feels and handles as though very well built. Plays nicely with the 1.4x TC as in the photo, which brings more magnification at same close focus distance.


Illustrative photo is wide open and shows that it's acceptably sharp even there, and also the excellent soft and smooth bokeh.


The only real downside is the autofocus which other reviewers have commented on. It does get there in the end, but meanwhile is very noisy and has a tendency every so often to hunt right from one end of the focus range to the other. It's difficult to credit how noisy this is without trying it yourself! My 16-85 HD, 8-16 Sigma, and 70-200 f2.8 D-FA* (all of which have internal motors) and 300 F* and old kit 18-55 (which are screw driven) all (all of them!) lock in more quickly and quietly than this lens. While the other screws just settle with the usual quick fidget, this one take its time good and proper. Recommended for its excellent IQ, but be prepared!
   
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2018
Posts: 255

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 11, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $355.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Extremely solid build, very sharp!
Cons: Focal length makes it a bit less handy for urban landscapes.
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Autofocus: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    New or Used: Used    Camera Used: K-70, K-1   

Probably the sharpest lens in my kit and with a f/2.8 it's plenty fast too. Extremely solid, well built, like a tank. Superb macro with a little more working distance than some of the shorter macros and it does a very good job with landscapes and portraits too.

Only possible draw back (on APS-C) is in an urban environment, shooting landscape, street photography and architecture, etc. It's just too long a lens to be ideal in this sort of relative close quarters, forcing me to stand at least a block away to get the shot I want. But that's not what this lens is for anyway!

ADDENDUM (9/03/2019): I recently had the opportunity to shoot three different music acts in the same "day" (overcast and dark, as the sun was setting), without flash. I took the K-1 and the 100mm WR. This is my third copy of this lens, all purchased used, and all have been consistently excellent. I have a couple of other fast primes I could have used but the 100mm let me keep a little more distance and shooting in manual mode, close to wide open, and in RAW, allowed me to push exposure in post quite easily. This lens is a treat on the full frame it was designed for. Scroll down for a few extra shots:



This stick is about the size of your little finger. See the spider?!? When I took this photo, I hadn't even noticed it!




This one I had to stand approx. a city block away to get the entirety of the larger boat in the frame... sharp, though!


K-1 in poorly lit conditions, manual mode, close to wide open, RAW, exposure corrected in post:





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